Bulldogs Have Raised More than $2,000 for Women's Ice Hockey Player's Battle with Cancer
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Golfing for a good cause, the Yale women's golf team made its way through "100 Holes for Mandi" Thursday morning in the Dave Paterson Golf Technology Center's golf simulator in Payne Whitney Gym. Through their efforts, the Bulldogs have raised more than $2,000 for Yale women's ice hockey player Mandi Schwartz and her battle with cancer.
Mandi, a 23-year-old native of Wilcox, Sask., has been battling acute myeloid leukemia for more than two years. This past September she required a stem cell transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle that was designed to give her a new immune system using stem cells from two anonymously donated units of umbilical cord blood. A biopsy in December indicated that she has relapsed, and she is now back home with her family.
The Yale women's golf team started planning "100 Holes for Mandi" near the end of 2010, and began accepting donations from supporters. Plans were finalized in February, and the Bulldogs wound up playing on a date that matches Mandi's uniform number (17).
"Our team is always looking for ways to help others, and in this case we had the chance to help a fellow Bulldog," said Chawwadee Rompothong '00, Yale's head women's golf coach. "In addition to raising funds for Mandi and her family, we hope that this event raises awareness of the need for bone marrow donors and umbilical cord blood donors, and inspires others to find ways that they can help."
The Bulldogs wound up totaling well more than 100 holes of golf. The day began shortly after 8 a.m. and wrapped up after noon. Yale's eight golfers played 18 holes each, so the team finished with 144 holes of golf. Using the simulator, which includes multiple courses from around the world, the Bulldogs chose to play at Casa De Campo in the Dominican Republic.
The team then hit the road for the William & Mary Invitational, where the Bulldogs will play this weekend. They opened their season with a 295-313 win over Longwood in Florida two days ago.
Donations for "100 Holes for Mandi" are still being accepted. Checks should be made out to "Yale University Relief Fund" with "Mandi Schwartz" in the memo line and sent to:
Yale Athletic Department
PO Box 208216
New Haven, CT 06520-8216
Coach Rompothong can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
"100 Holes for Mandi" is the latest in a series of events involving Yale athletic teams in Mandi's honor. Each of the past two springs, the Yale football and women's ice hockey teams have led bone marrow donor registration drives as part of the "Get in the Game. Save a Life." campaign. Those drives have added a total of more than 1,600 potential donors to the National Marrow Donor Program's "Be The Match" registry, which is designed to find genetic matches for patients in need of life-saving transplants. The Yale drives have yielded at least four genetic matches for patients with life-threatening illnesses. That includes sophomore field hockey player Lexy Adams, who was a match for a patient with cancer and donated stem cells last December. The field hockey team has now joined the football and women's ice hockey teams in leading the 2011 drive, which will be held on Thursday, Apr. 21 at Commons from 11 a .m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to the bone marrow donor drives, Mandi's Yale women's ice hockey teammates also organized a "White Out for Mandi" fundraiser at their game on Nov. 12, selling special white t-shirts with Mandi's number and holding a silent auction to raise funds. That same night, the members of the Yale women's swimming and diving team painted Mandi's uniform number on their shoulders for their home-opening meet as a show of support.
Prior to the Yale-Quinnipiac men's ice hockey game on Nov. 6, the Yale Club of New Haven and the Yale and Quinnipiac Athletic departments hosted "Mandi's March", a fundraiser that saw participants bike, walk and run the Farmington Canal Rails-to-Trail path between Quinnipiac's rink and Yale's Ingalls Rink.
For further information on Mandi's story, and how you can help, visit http://www.yalebulldogs.com/mandi
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (email@example.com), Yale Sports Publicity